DA: Police have suspect in shooting threat that closed Wyoming Area schools

By Brigid Edmunds-Lawrence - [email protected]
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WYOMING — The Wyoming Area School District was closed Thursday due to a shooting threat made online Wednesday night, authorities report.

A press release from the Luzerne County District Attorney’s office Thursday afternoon said the threat came via a Snapchat message, which a social media app popular with teens.

District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said charges are expected to be filed against the student who authorities have identified as a suspect.

According to the press release, multiple students from Wyoming Area Secondary Center received a photo via Snapchat from another student at around 9 p.m. Wednesday. The photo showed a separate juvenile, unknown to the students who received the message, holding two pistols in his left hand.

The photo included the message that someone would be “shooting up Wyoming Area” on Thursday.

Investigators say the person who sent the message is a minor and a student at the school. The student and the student’s family are cooperating, the press release says. The juvenile will be evaluated before charges are filed.

Due to the child’s age, the suspect will not be identified.

Salavantis said the DA’s office was joined in the investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police, Wyoming Area School resource officers and the FBI.

Investigators believe the threat was carried out to close school for the day, rather than to forewarn of an actual shooting, the release states.

While an investigation continues, Salavantis does not believe there is any actual risk to the public.

According to the school district’s website, details of the closure were sent to parents and faculty.

Efforts to reach Wyoming Area Superintendent Janet Serino were unsuccessful.

This is the second time the district has had to deal with a threat in the last three months.

In March, threatening messages found written in a restroom at the secondary center led to a five-hour lockdown. During much of that time, worried parents were gathered outside, waiting to see their children.

The DA said previously that charges were approved against the juvenile suspected in that incident.

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By Brigid Edmunds-Lawrence

[email protected]

Reach Brigid Edmunds-Lawrence at 570-991-6113 or on Twitter @brigidedmunds

Reach Brigid Edmunds-Lawrence at 570-991-6113 or on Twitter @brigidedmunds